'The Blob' - The Story of the Pacific Heatwave

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About 62,000 dead or dying common murres, the trophically dominant fish-eating seabird of the North Pacific, washed ashore between summer 2015 and spring 2016 on beaches from California to Alaska. A team of United States Geological Survey scientists have been researching and investigating the cause of this die off.

Video: ‘The Blob’ - The Story of the Pacific Heatwave

Featuring John Piatt, Mayumi Arimitsu, Sarah Schoen, and Caitlin Marsteller.

Directed by Ben M. Collins

Shot on location in Alaska, July 2019

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Date published: August 3, 2018
Status: Active

Seabirds and Forage Fish Ecology

Alaska's coastal and offshore waters provide foraging habitat for an estimated 100 million birds comprising more than 90 different species; from loons and seaducks that nest inland, to petrels and puffins that breed on islands off shore. All these birds depend on the sea to provide a wide variety of food types— from clams, crabs and urchins nearshore— to krill, forage fish, and squid offshore...